Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Pick Yourself Up, Dust Yourself Off, and Start All Over Again

Ah, Christmas. That magical time of year--when the light twinkles and dances off the ornaments on your tree and you can bask in the utter shininess of the holiday. 

I mean, just look at that tree! Mom, Bay and I scored it the day after Thanksgiving fresh from Washington State (at one of the local Church's tree lots). I put on the lights and Mom and Bay hung all the ornaments, perfectly placing each one. For three days and three nights, I marveled at the tree and it reminded me of all my blessings this year--especially when I consider what was happening last year at this time. I didn't put a tree up last year so this one was particularly important to me. 

And then at 1AM on Sunday night (technically Monday morning), I awoke to a clatter. I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter. And what to my wondering eyes should appear.....

But the Christmas tree lying broken upon the ground. 

Now, let me first say, that this is a very embarrassing thing to admit and share with you. I have been putting up trees ever since I was a teenager and never, in all that time, NEVER, has a tree fallen over. Bay blames the stand, but the stand I have is actually the most stable kind you can buy. You screw a cap onto the tree trunk and that in turn snaps into a base that allows you to adjust the tree to fix any issues with a crooked trunk. Basically, you can make sure that your tree is straight. However this year, I wasn't paying as close attention as I should to the fellow cutting the branches off the trunk, and I think there were some branches too low on the trunk that prevented the tree from sitting all the way down in the stand. Also, when I was watering it on Sunday afternoon I heard a click when I was maneuvering the water can under the tree. I think I might have actually unlocked the tree from the base. 

What I am trying to say is it was my fault. But not totally my fault. Maybe.

But when I heard the crash Sunday night and work up, I knew immediately what it was. Trust me, the sound of an 8 foot tree falling over and ornaments shattering is quite distinctive. 

The 6 Stages of a Fallen Christmas Tree

1. Shock

2. Disbelief

3. Panic

4. Anger

5. Mourning

6. Acceptance

The worst part of the whole affair was that the tree was too heavy for me to lift alone. Trust me, I tried. And managed to pull a back muscle in the process. So I spent all of Monday working from home and staring at my poor fallen tree and feeling sorry for it (and myself). Thank goodness for my friend Kent, who came over in the afternoon, helped me pick up the tree, saw off the offending low branches, and snap the thing back into place. I rehung the ornaments over a several day period, mostly because I wanted to make sure it was going to stay upright this time. 

And I think it all ended up alright in the end. Here's the restored tree in all its glory with the full Hanukkah menorah in front of it for good measure and holiday inclusiveness. The tree has stayed straight and true through all the weeks in December and has proudly stood over the wrapped holiday gifts. Perhaps it's a bit of a cliche, but I think I love the tree more for the trouble I had with it. It's more special as a result of the work it required. As I write this post I can turn my head and see it standing there--an 8 foot tall symbol of how lucky I am to have such wonderful friends and family.

And of course Bay and I found time to visit another Christmas tree this year....

I hope all of you have a holiday filled with lights and love--and if this is a hard time of year for you, then I hope that you find some peace in the season. Christmas reminds of all the blessings we have, but it can also be a reminder of all that we have lost. Just know that no matter what, you have people that love you. And THAT is what Christmas is all about. The tree is just the icing on the figgy pudding.